11 Very Surprising Facts About Christmas

Father Christmas wearing his traditional red and white outfit with a shocked expression on his face

Even Santa is stunned! - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Entertain your friends and family with these fun festive facts! 

Far from being steeped in centuries of Christmas tradition, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was actually created by Robert L May for a department store’s promotional Christmas colouring book in 1939.  

Festive favourite Jingle Bells was the first song played in space. It jingled all the way on 16 December, 1965, during NASA's Gemini 6A space flight.  

A 2016 poll found 57% of UK adults would go without seeing relatives on Christmas day if it meant they could spend more time on Facebook...  

It only needs ONE snowflake to be observed falling somewhere in the UK on December 25 for the Met Office to officially declare it a white Christmas.  

 A 2019 study found that people who put up their Christmas decorations early tend to be happier and healthier, and that festive decs are ‘an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement’. So what are you waiting for? 

We will scoff, on average, a whopping 6,000 calories on Christmas day – around three times our normal daily amount. Another Quality Street, anyone?   

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 In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell made it illegal to eat mince pies and Christmas pudding on Christmas Day in an attempt to ban gluttony. Bet he was fun at parties.   

Recent research found more than a third of Britons will have had their first festive drink before noon on Christmas day. Cheers!  

We have Coca-Cola to thank for Santa Claus’s plump and jolly appearance – they created the red-coated, white-bearded image for an advertising campaign. Previously, Santa looked a bit more elf-like and even sinister!   

Speaking of Sinister, in Alpine folklore, Krampus, a terrifying half-goat, half-demon figure, hauls naughty children off to the underworld during the festive season, so Santa can focus on delivering gifts to the well-behaved ones...  

The average person spends an astonishing 30 minutes trying to free gifts from their packaging at Christmas – and over a lifetime will endure 43 days of doing so. All that hassle for yet another pair of socks...   


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